Monday, April 23, 2012

Literally

Faith: Mom, where do you want the chairs in the basement?

Me
: By any wall

Faith
: Which wall?

Me (A little exasperated, is this really hard to do?)
: It doesn't really matter, just put them against a wall.


Faith
: Uh. Okay (snicker, snicker) Mom, how's this?

Gotta smile, right? :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Walk with Him Wednesdays



As a child I learned “thank you” quickly. I remember the comments about what a polite young lady I was as I sat at the breakfast following the Easter sunrise service. “Thank you” became an automatic response. Yes, good manners, even a sign of good character, but not necessarily godliness.

Sometimes I want to be thankful for things, but leave a little sting with it . . .

  • For insurance that pays the bills, most of the time.
  • For kids that obey with a smile, when reminded.
  • For the beautiful weather, that could be just a few degrees cooler.
  • For food to eat, even if the kids don’t like it again.

The kids have really grown adept at this, giving thanks for all their siblings by name, except one. Where did they learn to give thanks and spite at the same time? Oh yeah, me.

True gratitude doesn’t come with conditions or exceptions. In rereading the story of the leper that returned alone to thank Jesus, his attitude struck me this time.

Shouting, falling on his face.

He didn’t say, “Thanks for making me clean, finally.” He overflowed with gratitude. He couldn’t use just an inside voice to explode the good news.

Father God, please purify my gratitude. Flush out the left over tidbits of discontentment and comparison. Help my eyes to see only your blessing and respond with pure thankfulness for what you have done.

1000 Gifts . . .

11. A husband who works tirelessly both on the job and at home.

12. Leftovers for lunch. Everyone gets their favorite.

13. Team sports and hard lessons learned

14. Faith’s, “I need something” – always a hug

15. Brooke’s snuggles

16. Paige’s thoughtful questions and observations

17. Blake’s wit and incredibly analytical mind

18. Nathan’s character and flair for comedic drama

19. Eli’s absolutely contagious giggle.

20. Snapping timed pictures, cheek-to-cheek with my favorite 6 year old

21. Willing helpers

22. Sisters singing together while they play

23. Techy kindergarteners

24. Sermons that deliver just what I hungered for

25. Whispers of summer in the air

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Verse of the week -- John 1

I've spent my share of idle afternoons on the sand. Spread out on a beach towel soaking in sunshine warmth, usually just under the shade of the trees along the perimeter. Savoring the occasional breeze. An empty agenda.

The best part? The sound of waves. Not just fabricated in a nature-scape alarm clock, but the real deal. The irregular rhythmic pounding and fading of water crashing into land. It washes everything away, physically and emotionally.

Have you ever watched the beach as the waves roll in? Footprints, sand castles, stick trails, holes dug, all disappear with a few waves. Leaving behind a fresh canvas to begin again.

My pastor this weekend compared God's grace to the waves on a beach and my mental images and memories ran away with the illustration.

John 1:16 says, "And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace." Just as those waves crash ceaselessly upon the shore, his grace continues to wash over us. Take a moment to look and you see the fresh blessings flowing into our lives with each outpouring of His grace.

I began to look for what the Bible says we have received by grace:

our hearts to be strengthened by grace Heb 13:9
Life and salvation by grace Eph. 2:5-9
Promises by grace Rom 4:16

By grace we believe, by grace we have faith, by grace we are redeemed, by grace we receive an undeserved gift, by grace we live, by grace we have access to His throne, by grace we stand unshakable.

All that, a gracious gift. And more. Daily he pours out His grace again. Like the waves that never quit crashing on the sea shore, so His grace keeps washing up, wiping away, refreshing, and recreating. The gritty sand of our life becomes the canvas for His beautiful work in and through us.

Lord, thank you for pouring out Your grace on my life. Keep my eyes wide open to the blessings, and continue to grow in me a grateful heart. ~In Jesus' Name Amen

And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
~John 1:16~

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Koolaid Playdough


Something magical about playdough. It can become just about anything, and for most of us it is not an everyday play thing. An afternoon of playdough tends to take on a life of its own, so we savor the experience, and don't repeat it more than once a month or so.

Playdough can run a little pricey if you buy the good stuff, and most of my experience with the cheap stuff has been pretty unforgettable, and not in a good way.

Instead of spending my kids' college savings on playdough, we make our own.

The kids love the process, they can pick the colors, and it makes a whole bowl full of playdough instead of a tiny little half cup container full.

Here's the recipe (enough for a whole preschool class to get a little or your own preschooler to build a life size replica of himself):



Kool-aid Playdough

5 cups flour
1 cup salt
4 pkgs kool-aid, any flavor
1/2 cup oil
3-4 cups boiling water (start with 3 and add more until kneadable)



Mix until like a soft dough and store in air-tight container once cooled.
I used to store in the fridge, but our current batch has stayed good in our basement for 6 months!

Easy as can be and my kids love the colors and smells of this playdough. It has been a standby in our home for over 13 years now.